Sunday, June 05, 2011

HAPPY 70th BIRTHDAY DAN WARNER!


Today, June 5, 2011, is my dad's 70th birthday. お誕生日お目出度う, dad.

My dad's been a really important part of my life. As are all dads in the lives of those of us who have dads. Which is all of us. Even those who don't know their dads. But I know mine. Or at least I think I do.

My dad's done a lot of stuff that readers of this blog ought to thank him for. I wouldn't have turned out the way I did had he not made some pretty unusual decisions in his life.

When I was just eight years old and my sister was six, my dad was working for the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company. He was right there in corporate headquarters in Akron, Ohio working a respectable middle class job like a good dad does to provide for his family. One day his boss asked him if he would consider packing us all up and moving us to Nairobi, Kenya. He generously gave my dad a weekend to decide.

Now you kids out there have to understand this was way before the Internets were even a twinkle in Al Gore's eye. We were living in Wadsworth, Ohio, a teenie tiny little town without even a well-stocked library. My dad barely knew where to find Kenya on a map. His only sources of reliable information were the World Book Encyclopedia and a couple of people at Firestone he didn't know all that well who had been over to Nairobi. At least they said it was an OK place.

On the basis of this and my mom's enthusiasm for adventure, my dad moved us all out to Africa where we spent a little over three years. If I'd spent those three years, from ages eight to eleven, in Wadsworth, Ohio with its Saturday morning cartoons, its shopping malls and its population of proudly White Americans who do not question their God or their government I would have turned out a totally different person from who I am today. Thank you dad, for saving me from that fate.

I'm not sure my dad ever really understood my fascination with monster movies, rock and roll guitar and Zen. My mom was the arsty one. But he never said a word to try and dissuade me from pursuing the things I loved. He bought me my first guitar and my first bass.

And my dad paid my way through college. Can you imagine that? He decided some time early in my and my sister's childhoods that neither of us would take out loans for our Bachelor's degrees. Some of my friends are still paying off their college loans. But I'm not. Amazing. I can't thank him enough for that.

When my mom became ill dad took it upon himself to care for her. He didn't want her languishing in some medical facility. He made sure that she was with him in her own home right till the end. Lots of people with spouses that have the condition my mom did dump their spouses and don't look back. Not my dad. The sacrifices he made for her... Aw jeez, I'm tearing up just writing about it. Read Zen Wrapped in Karma Dipped in Chocolate if you want some more details.

There's so much more I could say. But I'd rather go downstairs and hang out with the man himself. You'll excuse me. Thanks!

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

Kwatz!

gniz said...

Thanks pop warner!

BTW in the states Pop Warner is also a kind of football played by little kids...

john e mumbles said...

Nice. My Dad and Mom split when I was not yet two. I met him again at 18, just months before he died of cancer. In the meantime my "other Dad," the father of the kids I grew up with in my "foster" home was amazing. Taught me to fish, hunt, roam the woods, and lie back in a hammock watching the clouds in total silence, play pinball at roadside taverns and sprinkle salt into strawberry soda like he did in his beer. He drove a cement mixer truck and took me on trips to pour driveways and sidewalks. We planted gardens and rode bikes. We'd stop and he'd cut sugarcane from the field and hand me a treat...Dads.

Happy Birthday Brad's Dad, ya done great with him.

R said...

The great majority of humanity have parents that are nothing better than ordinary, but their descendants themselves are unworthy enough to miss the point and praise them unjustifiably.

- Who tf needs parents?

merciless said...

Brad, Are you sure that's your Dad? Most people look a little like their fathers. I'm just saying..

Mysterion said...

Thanks...

We tend to forget a lot.

My dad was an 8th grade school drop-out during the Republican Depression of 1929 - 1936. He, and three of his brothers, moved to Idaho and worked a gold mine to keep the RCC family of 14 under roofs and with food in their bellies. Uncle Art died in the mine. Slim and Ray (my dad) relocated to Tahoe after the War (1941 - 1945). By then, both had taken wives and started families. Both spit out the holy water and lived normal (small family) lives sans any intervention by the local skype.

My dad died when he was 80. His ashes sat next to my sister's washer/dryer for 3 or 4 years until she got around to dumping them in the Nevada desert - thus fulfilling an old covenant.

Life goes on - until it doesn't.

Mysterion said...

p.s. Happy Vater's dae.

BD said...

Nice, we often tend to ignore the sacrifices our parents make, nice that you can share your appreciation with him.
2 Thumbs up

Tony G said...

Your Dad sounds like a very decent human being. BTW I'm thoroughly enjoying my first read of Hardcore Zen. Couldn't stop laughing when reading the part about Farting Man! Saludos from Texas!

tattoozen said...

Happy B-DAY Brads Dad.

Anonymous said...

George luvs his Stratocaster..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CWwJrcTmcg

Khru said...

Your Dad is a great human being. I hope I can be the same to my wife and kids.

proulx michel said...

I've met so many people whose parents weren't good parents, that I think one ought to really appreciate when one realises that one's were, despite their dysfuntions, good people. At first, I thought every parent were good people, because mine were.
But then...

One example: this guy's mother was so furious that he would want to go to university for studies, instead of working free of charge in her store, that she did everything to ruin him and keep him from studying!

Anonymous said...

for all the musicians in the crowd

Chris McCarty said...

A very happy (belated) birthday to your dad. His teachings influenced you, your teachings have meant a great deal to me, and I have shared much of what I have learned from you with my children. Cause and effect is pretty trippy. Well done, Dan Warner.

Mysterion said...

"this guy's mother was so furious that he would want to go to university for studies..."

Yep. Children as an appendage to the work unit.

My dad would have been furious if my sister and I had done anything OTHER than attend college.

Different world view in a different culture.

Alan_A said...

Brad -

Great post. Your father seems (and, I'm sure, is) truly admirable.

One small thing... while it's great that your father cared for your mother at home, and I have no doubt that that was hellacious difficult for him, not everyone who opts for a medical facility is necessarily "dumping" his or her loved one. Sometimes the patient's condition absolutely demands skilled care. Some people can be terrifically devoted but at the same time aren't cut out to be caregivers.

I know this intimately from my years as my father's Alzheimer's caregiver. I made sure that he was able to stay in his home as long as possible, building in more and more skilled home care staff. At the end, that was no longer a safe setting for him, and because he needed round-the-clock nursing, I moved him to a nursing home. I was careful to select an excellent one for him. I never tried to care for him in my own home, because my sense (backed up by professionals) was that that would have been beyond me both physically and emotionally, and wouldn't have been good for him either.

I bring this up because I've seen too many people in the same situation persuaded to feel guilty for sending their loved one to a home, when in fact that might have been the best course of action. So your father's right choice wouldn't necessariy be right for someone else. Again, none of this is meant to detract from him or from you.

Anonymous said...

Alan_A is right on. He is like the anti-mysterion.

Anonymous said...

My dad committed suicide.
With a gun.

Anonymous said...

after five decades
almost dead as doornail
so ordinary

Anonymous said...

D'oh!
"almost dead as *a* doornail"
(too busy counting syllables)

Anonymous said...

my dad was an abusive asshole, so it seems you got lucky

Anonymous said...

My Dad was great, but I turned out to be a jerk anyway.

Anonymous said...

sigh.. Dad thoughts are painful. Not because of anything he did. But because I wasn't such a great son. He would have said I was though.

Anonymous said...

10 out of 24 people who commented on this thread preferred to remain anonymous.

The first step is admitting that you have a problem.

Me and my monkey said...

Actually, Yudo was the only commenter to use a provably real name.

So let's make it 24 out of 25 anonymous comments..

JFC said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"10 out of 24 people who commented on this thread preferred to remain anonymous.
The first step is admitting that you have a problem."

The second step is to apply, through the power of Jesus Christ, Biblical principles as expressed in the Twelve Steps of Posters Anonymous.

These principles are referred to as "Twelve Steps for Successful Christian Living."

This ministry is rooted in the belief that recovery from the use of anonymous posts can be achieved through a personal faith in Jesus Christ.

Therefore, post not as anonymous but rather as "Jesus Christ" or "In Christ's name," or even "JFC" or "Jesus H. Christ."

amen

Anonymous said...

Your dad is an awesome mensch! I always admired the way he cared for you guys, and how you never missed an opportunity to be with one another. Now I am tearing up, thank you very much, Brad Warner!

Anonymous said...

Why aren't you in Garrison New York for the big meeting?! Why did you leave New York?

Bored said...

Wow. If you take the Mysterion comments and the reactions to them out of these blog posts all thats left is "thanks Brad, you're great" blah blah..

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Bored.

You're great.








Blah blah blah.

Mysterion said...

Sorry...

Carmel called.

We had to go take a look at a house on the corner of Kraft and Velveeta - it was quite a spread.

Anonymous said...

What a goof.

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